Call me crazy but the Houston Astros are actually serious contenders for outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. In fact, there is one Major League general manager that believes the Astros will come out on top in the Choo sweepstakes.
“One veteran GM believes that the #Astros will wind up to be the landing spot for Shin-Soo Choo,” tweeted USA Today Sports Major League Baseball columnist Bob Nightengale.
If Houston does indeed ink a deal with Choo, I was way off on my prediction of where he would sign.
I suppose it’s not outside of the realm of reality for this to become a possibility. The Astros have consistently had one of the lowest payrolls in the big leagues. Not to mention, they have basically been slowly trucking along with their 100-loss seasons as they await the arrival of a wave of prospects to make them relevant once again. Considering that wave could come as soon as 2014 means Houston is ready to make some big moves in free agency, with Choo clearly being the biggest of them all.
The 31-year-old would be a huge grab for Houston for many reasons. He would inject plenty of excitement into the fan base, which in turn would put people back in the stands. He also would be the outstanding leadoff hitter the Astros need in order to experience success again. Not to mention, he’s a legitimate threat on offense and a capable glove on defense.
Choo ranked in the top-five among MLB centerfielders in batting average (.285), doubles (34), total bases (263), walks (112), on-base percentage (.423) and numerous other offensive categories last season. He also continuously made great defensive plays in the outfield, which is a direct result of his .989 fielding percentage in 361 total chances.